The Three-Legged Crow
Sae-bal Kamagui

KOREA / 1997 / Korean / Color / Video / 72 min

Director, Editing: Oh Jung-hun
Photography: Park Ji-man, Shin Im-ho
Script: Yun Eun-jung Sound: Lee Chan-yong
Music: Chung Myung-hwa
Narration: Won Chang-hyun
Producer: Nam Taek-jin
Production Company, Source: P.U.R.N Production
3rd Fl. Chungkang Bl. 343-5 Shindaebang-2-dong Dongjak-gu, Seoul KOREA
Phone: 822-823-9124
Fax: 822-823-9125
E-mail: docupurn@chollian.net

Oh Jung-hun

Born in 1968. Directed two dramas, Murder in Progress in 1993 and Secret Society Member in 1994. Joined Purn Productions in 1994 and started making documentaries. Directed We Need to Make a Promise (1995), and worked as assistant director for films like Chorok Class Children's Diary on the Environment (1996).

A famous poet jailed for over ten years for his political activities has become a hero through his books and lyrics. The film follows his life on one hand while questioning the actuality of his philosophy in today's quickly changing society. Korean society too is facing a new world after the storm of social activism in the 1980s.

Director's Statement

1987, I was twenty years old and sitting in a makgulli (Korean traditional rice wine) bar listening to a strange song that my seniors were singing. It was a song titled Bird that started with "That clear blue sky and white clouds...."
I don't know why, but I cried. Was it because the lyrics and melody seemed to caress my stifled heart? My seniors asked me if I knew Park Ro-hae and I replied that I was a layman when it came to literature, unless they were really famous works. My pride reared its head at the strange looks they threw at me for my ignorance, and so I started reading the poetry collection Dawn of Labor that they handed me.
It was astonishing. The book was a condensation of life that was completely different from anything I had experienced before. The poetry was a shock to someone like me who had thought that the word "laborer" was only used by narrow-minded people.
That was how I came to first know of Park Ro-hae. Lying on my stomach on the floor of the dark boarding house, I came to face the world and to think about what a truly ideal life meant.
Ten years have passed and I am now facing the "three-legged crow." No, rather, I'm facing another side of myself. To find Park Ro-hae, I spent about nine months since March 1997 talking to Park's family, friends, and old comrades. I was getting to know him little by little, but I sometimes worried that I was only grasping at his shadow.
Expectation makes you that much more dependent and passive. It was so with my expectations of poet Park. When there seemed to be no direction for solving a frustrating and obscure life, I hoped to discover something through him, someone who had stood right in the middle of the times since the eighties. If I could sort out the meaning of the changes in the times and in poet Park, perhaps I could reorganize myself, too. But as I started on the task, I found myself unable to express not only my understanding of Park but thoughts about myself too. I realized that my expectations made me lose track of my role and position.
Throwing questions like "what?" and "why?" became a mirror of self-reflection not for the poet living in prison but for myself living in reality. I experienced a process of understanding the words of Father Park Ki-ho: "It's not the world becoming beautiful by freeing the poet; it's more like the poet becoming free through a beautiful society."
Twenty when I met the poet and thirty now. Halfway through filming, I shed tears reading Only Humans are Hope. Those tears were problems that engulfed me. The me that lives and the me that must live. The "set of questions" called Park Ro-hae belongs to not only one prisoner of conscience but to everyone who is trying to solve the problems of the times and of the self.
@ beforenext

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee